The main reason we went to Northern Ireland was to see the Giant’s Causeway. It has been on my bucket list for some time, and so as the time to visit got closer I became more apprehensive that it was going to be rubbish and a waste of money.
The weather forecast was always best for Easter Monday, and the closer we got to the trip it became almost too good – pure sunshine – and I was worried that my photos wouldn’t come out well.
I prefer moody, misty, overcast weather for my shots rather than brilliant sunshine. Naturally I’d shoot at sunrise or sunset, but there is more than just me on this holiday and operating around these times isn’t great. What ended up working in my favour was the lack of availability of restaurants.
The week before we went I realised that eating out might be an issue for the first two nights we were there – Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. These are bank holiday days so people will be off work and out visiting places. We rang around a few places, and managed to get a booking – but not until 845pm!
So we took this booking, with me secretly rubbing my hands with glee, as the restaurant was 5 minutes away from the causeway, meaning we wouldn’t need to get there until late afternoon. So suddenly the issue of the good weather wasn’t a problem any more, as thanks to it being a bank holiday we couldn’t eat until after sunset anyway!
As we were there so late, it was relatively free of crowds too.
When we got there, it was great. It is such a surreal thing to experience. Definitely the highlight of the holiday!
The first full day of our mini trip was forecast to have the best weather. In the run up to the holiday, I did my usual compulsive weather checking and it kept getting sunnier and sunnier. Now sun is all well and good, but it’s not always good for my style of photography.
When we woke up it was overcast and cloudy, but as the day went on, the cloud dispersed leaving with a pretty clear sky by the time it was afternoon.
In the morning we left our B&B and made the short drive to Cushendun. It was only about 5 mins away, and when we got there we were pretty much the only people there.
As we were leaving though it was really busy. I think it might be one of the stop offs on the Game of Thrones tours as the scene where Melisandre gives birth to the shadow thing was filmed there.
As we were leaving on the last day the lady who runs our B&B was showing us the health and safety checks HBO had done before allowing filming at the caves. Apparently they had rented out all of the B&Bs near by, one of which had to have a room which needed to be kept at a constant temperature so the shadow baby thing didn’t deform!
The weather said it was going to be cloudy but sunny this evening, so I decided to go out to shoot the sunset. My idea was backlit heather. When I got to the place I was going to take the photo there were a few other people there. Some had been out and were going back to their car, others were there with camera in hand – maybe they’d had the same idea as me?
We were all to be disappointed if that was the case though, as the clouds were all along the horizon and so there wasn’t really a sunset worth photographing. This was actually the second shot I took, but I thought it wouldn’t work out so I carried on shooting. Turns out this was the only decent shot I had.
Today we went to Dulas Bay, and Porth Wen. This was the trip we tried to do on Monday, but we didn’t manage to make it to either.
This time in order to prepare I was on Google Maps zoomed in at 100% plotting where to park for minimum walking.
First up was Dulas Bay. We got there as the tide was going in, so one of the abandoned boats was already in water. This left me with the one closer to the shore to play in. I took my boots off and got into my dress, and then into the water. Little had I thought about the crabs. I hate crabs. I was almost stood on a large number of crabs. I had a bit of a freak out, jumped for the shore, gathered myself together and tentatively got back into the water.
The tide was coming in pretty quickly, so we went back to the car (Which I had wondered if it were going to be in water, as the place to park wasn’t much higher than where the water was).
I then drove us to Porth Wen. We had tried to walk there on Monday, but we turned back as we weren’t sure how much farther away it was. This time though, I had found a closer parking spot, and it was a short 10 minute walk across farmers fields.
When we got to the end of the farmers fields, we had to walk down a steep mud path with heathers and weeds up above our heads. This was only a couple of minutes though, and then we were there.
Today the weather forecast said it would rain heavily all afternoon. As seems to be the theme of this holiday, the weather forecast was wrong. Anyway, we set out with getting back before the weather turned in mind.
Getting to South Stack was straight forward, about a 15 minute drive from where we are stopping.
It was quite quiet, which is just what I like. Sadly though, my lighter ran out whilst we were there and so I couldn’t set off my smoke bomb 😦
On the way back to the car, a random herd of goats appeared! Naturally this involved whipping my skirt on and getting amongst them 😉